Resources Himalaya Foundation and Environmental Graduates in Himalaya successfully organized our monthly program Guff-Gaff on March 15, 2023. The guest speaker for this session was Mr. Manoj Aryal, Environmental Inspector at Department of Roads. He gave a talk on the topic “Opportunities and Challenges of Environmental Safeguard in Nepal”.
Mr. Manoj Aryal provided a broad overview of his work experience related to environmental management including climate change, sustainability, and development. According to Mr. Aryal, the most critical and core challenge in environmental safeguard is the one-and-half decade old policies and regulations coupled with the need for strengthening capacity of public institutions. Despite having good institutional setup and sufficient legal provisions, environmental control and enforcement has remained an area requiring substantial improvement. Stronger willingness, good governance, good sector strategy and plans, strengthened inter-sector linkages, and availability of resources will support in bringing the required changes in the existing gaps. Politically transitional stage of the country has provided conductive environment for lack of accountability and compliance to the rule of law. Furthermore, trend of decapitating and dis-empowering of local governance institutions through political agendas have made the state weaker. Government has been unable to control many illegal activities such as widespread deforestation, timber smuggling, poaching and illegal trade of endangered species, over-extraction of river bed material, direct discharge of sewage and industrial effluents in rivers, and uncontrolled urban expansion. In the context of trans-boundary spread of natural resources, strong inter-regional cooperation remains to be fully exploited. He ended the talk by stressing that these issues should be addressed for the people to be aware of environmental safeguards. The presentation was followed by an interaction session between the guest speaker and the participants and the program ended with closing remarks from the EGH coordinator.